Assessment of the training framework for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Respiratory Infection POCT Program

P. Mazonka, K. Andrewartha, M. Shephard, M. Milic, K. Miller, N. Alternetti, W. Baigent, J. Skliwa, M. Popp, A. Tangey, S. O'Connor, L. Causer, B. Hengel, R. J. Guy, H. Crowley, A. Williams, S Matthews, Respiratory Infection Point-of-Care Testing Team

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Respiratory Infection Point-of-Care Testing (RIPOCT) Program (previously COVID-19 Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) program) encompasses multiplexed SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), Influenza A, Influenza B and Respiratory Syncytial Virus testing using the Cepheid GeneXpert®. 102 health services in regional/remote locations across six states/territories are enrolled in the program, as approved by the COVID-19 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group. The program has aligned with changes in the Australian public health COVID-19 response. Here we describe the training and competency framework essential to the uptake of POCT and analytical result quality.

Methods: The operator training framework and resource package includes prerequisite work health and safety modules, remote online theory and observed practical training, reference posters, standard operating procedures, and educational documentation. Successful written and practical competency assessment underpin POCT operator certification for 1 year. For recertification and/or POCT operators transitioning from COVID-19 POCT to RIPOCT, completion of a truncated online theory training and self-directed practical with final assessment is required.

Results: Since May 2020, more than 1260 theory and practical training sessions have been delivered, equating to over 1780 hours of POCT training delivery. As of January 2023, a total of 920 POCT operators were deemed competent in either COVID-19 POCT (n=792) or RIPOCT (n=126). Competency was achieved predominantly by health service nursing staff (82%), but also included Indigenous Health Practitioners (11%), clinicians (4%) or profession unspecified (3%). The majority (92%) of RIPOCT competencies were completed by existing COVID-19 POCT operators. The percentage of POCT competency completed by health service staff in each jurisdiction was NT (34%) QLD (23%), WA (21%), SA (10%), NSW (9%) and VIC (3%).

The training and competency framework underpinning the RIPOCT program has facilitated a workforce of local POCT operators that is able to conduct RIPOCT in regional/remote primary health care settings.
Original languageEnglish
PagesPoster 24
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2023
Event3rd Australasian Covid-19 Conference - Sofitel Brisbane Central, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 27 Jul 202328 Jul 2023


Conference3rd Australasian Covid-19 Conference
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Poster 24


  • SARS-Cov 2
  • Influenza A
  • Influenza B
  • RSV
  • point of care testing
  • training


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